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Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly to meet on Friday


Caracas: Venezuela’s newly elected National Constituent Assembly (ANC), a legislative body created to rewrite the nation’s constitution, will meet for the first time on Friday, President Nicolas Maduro announced.

Maduro made the announcement on Wednesday night in a televised speech, reports CNN.

“This constituent assembly is the hope of an entire country,” he said.

The President also named Jorge Arreaza, a former vice president, as Foreign minister. Samuel Moncada, who was foreign minister, will become Venezuela’s representative of the Organisation of American States (OAS).

All of ANC’S 545 members are supporters of the leftist leader.

The ANC will replace the opposition-led National Assembly, and critics fear it will erode democracy and give rise to dictatorship.

The opposition boycotted the violence-marred July 30 election, calling it fraudulent.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council said more than 8 million people, about 41.53 per cent of registered voters, cast ballots, CNN reported.

More than 350 members of the new assembly were elected in open municipal votes. The remaining members were elected by people from certain social and industry groups (like students, pensioners or workers).

The opposition had won control of the National Assembly in 2015 elections, and held 112 of the body’s 167 seats.

Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General, on Wednesday night called for an emergency council meeting regarding “the aggravation of the crisis in Venezuela”.

Almagro cited “illegitimate electoral acts for the installation of a Constituent Assembly, as well as electoral fraud of more than one million votes”m arguing that Venezuela is infringing on two articles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

The meeting is to take place over the weekend.